The federal government as part of its conditional cash transfer programme (CCT) has started the payment of N1.6 billion to 167,000 poor and vulnerable women in Jigawa.
The CCT programme requires that beneficiaries meet certain criteria like enrolling their children in public schools and getting regular check-ups at the hospital.
Mustafa Yakubu, the Training and Communication Officer, State Cash Transfer Unit (SCTU), made this known to journalists on Saturday in Kiyawa, Jigawa State.
Speaking after monitoring the exercise at Andaza and Shuwarin villages of Kiyawa LGA, he said the funds were disbursed to beneficiaries via Fund and Electronic Transfer Solution (FETS Wallet) engaged by the National Cash Transfer Office.
He explained that the payment was for the months of May and June and that each beneficiary got N10,000.
“In Jigawa, we have not less than 167,000 beneficiaries in the 27 local government areas. For all components of the programme, we are paying not less than N1.6 billion every two months,” Mr Yakubu said.
He said there was a need for the process to be more ICT-savvy, adding, “The application of ICT will remove the need for beneficiaries to gather in one place to collect the money.
“This will help in curtailing insecurity issues surrounding the process and help the financial education of the beneficiaries.
“Higher deployment of ICT will also help other business activities like the POS service and the observance of social distancing protocol of COVID-19,” he said.
According to him, SCTU also conducts coaching and mentoring for the beneficiaries on how best to utilise the money, particularly in investments.
“Some beneficiaries are already into one petty business or the other. So we train and advise them on how best to use the money in their businesses and trades.
“Some of them formed cap-making groups, some formed cooperative groups, while others engage in small scale businesses,” Mr Yakubu added.